Actress and dancer Maddie Ziegler has apologised for several “ignorant and racially insensitive” posts that have recently resurfaced on the Internet.
The Dance Moms star, most famous for her work with Australian pop star Sia, found herself at the centre of backlash after posts from eight years ago started doing the rounds again.
They included Maddie imitating Asian facial features, mocking accents and calling someone a “lesbian” as an apparent insult.
Apologising for the posts, Maddie – who is now 17 – took to her Instagram page to write: “There are a few videos some of you have seen from when I was about nine-years old where I thought it was funny to mock people and accents.
“I’m honestly ashamed, and I’m truly sorry for my actions. The decisions I made then are absolutely not decisions I would make today. What I thought was silly humour when I was younger I know was actually ignorant and racially insensitive. We have all made mistakes in our lives and as we grow up we educate ourselves and learn to be better people.
“Growing up in the public eye has its challenges and also comes with the responsibility to set a good example, which I failed to do in these videos. I hope you will forgive me and also hope you realise I have, in fact, grown up and would never act this way now.”
Maddie concluded her post by asking fans to be kind to one another.
“I know some of you are hurt and may not accept my apology, but I want to ask all of you to please be kind to each other on socials,” she wrote. “There is no need to attack each other or try to defend me. I don’t want anyone to feel bullied and think we can all learn from my mistakes and spread love during these times when we need it most.”